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First time In Thailand

UK
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First time In Thailand

Dear Friends,

We are planning to travel to Thailand with my friend for the first time. We want to do some touring around incl. Bangkok, Ayutthaya, Kanchanaburi, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai using public transport. Could you please advise how safe it is to travel around for two females or is it better to organise tours prior with travel agancies? Are there any travel agencies available in BKK?

Thank you in advance.

London
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1. Re: First time In Thailand

evcia999,

You will find a lot of information here about Thailand and if you scroll through the posts a few of them cover safety from time to time as well as the FAQ on the right.

When you say public transport, do you mean local/regional buses? I am asking because this mode of transport can be tiring and uncomfortable. Mini vans could be better for shorter distances.

Also bear in mind that trains are not always fast in the Kingdom.

On the other end, if you mean using public transport when in the cities you have mentioned that is a different story. In that scenario, public transport within a city is cheap and in some cases (Bangkok) even of a better standard than the London underground (although it can get equally busy).

Ayutthaya and Kanchanaburi are not far from Bangkok. Also Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai are not too far from each other. I would suggest flying to one of the latter from Bangkok and use the same mode of transport on the way back. Only one hour, you will arrive fresh and save lots of time. Book those when you are in Thailand.

As to safety, all the places you have mentioned are safe as long as you stick to the tourist areas where there will be other people too.

Should you venture further out, language could be an issue and a guide may be a better choice.

Enjoy your time there.

Giorgio Federico

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2. Re: First time In Thailand

Thank for your advice, Giorgio. Much appreciated.

Bangkok, Thailand
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3. Re: First time In Thailand

I'd advise using budget airlines for some of the longer journeys. Public vans are not always a great idea, there have been some horrific accidents involving these vans and drivers tend to think they are on a racetrack. The safest buses are those operated by The Transport company (state owned), and a few other private operators.

Bangkok has more travel agencies than the UK has pubs LOL..

Bangkok
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for Thailand
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4. Re: First time In Thailand

As bbtony has said the main bus services are best, the vans can be uncomfortable and cramped.

You often see tourists cramed into some small van paying perhaps B 400-500 for a trip that could have been B 150 on a nice large a/c bus.

For safety use common sense but you will be fine using the same regular buses that Thai people use.

Air conditioned trains 2nd class sleepers trains popular for overnight but you can also get very good deals on budget airlines, but always add all your costs together.

Many prefer the chance for a train journey as in Thailand it is relatively cheap compared with mnay countries and train travel can be quite enjoyable / good fun.

As long as you use common sense you will be fine.

Write things down, print out schedules, print a map off the internet and mark your route -

ask hotel staff to write things for you in Thai ( eg when going to take a bus )

Relax, smile, be polite and you will find that everything works like a dream :)

One tip I always give :-

Never, ever pressume that because someone speaks your language or who comes from the same country as you do is suddenly your lifetime friend ( ! )

Have fun - and do read through the individual forums on TA for those locations you are going to for tips

London
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5. Re: First time In Thailand

evcia999, the advice from both bbtony and Monica4 is sensible and they are excellent TA contributors and of course have local knowledge as opposed to mine which that of a regular visitor but transient.

It is true that minivans drivers can at times be on a race to complete the journey and perhaps it is equally true that driversof public buses are not necessarily more alert. Sadly, driving in Thailand in general is not always very disciplined but then again the same could be said for Italy. Morale of the story? There is a risk in anything we do and of course it is wise to listen to those who are more experienced.

bbtony also makes an excellent point about using budget airlines and I should have said that when I wrote "book those when you are in Thailand" as you can net some good bargains.

Finally, Monica4 advice in her penultimate paragraph is very true and one that perhaps should be embossed in our travelling documents.

Travel safe

Giorgio Federico

Bangkok
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for Thailand
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6. Re: First time In Thailand

Giorgio - visitors who travel around can know a lot more about certain things than those of us who live here .... ! Because you visit places 'as a visitor'

Many places that visitors may visit we never would.

Glad evcia999 is heading to some nice interesting places.

Also you can tell people about things from 'the persepctive' of a visitor, which can be very different than the way 'we' view things,.

A visitor's persepctive can be very different from ours

evcia999

For trains this is an excellent site, lots of tips, photos etc:

http://www.seat61.com/Thailand.htm

For budget flights

http://www.airasia

http://www.nokair

Edited: 07 January 2012, 01:29
London
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7. Re: First time In Thailand

Thank you Monica.

You make some good points.

This is also what makes Tripadvisors so effective and a great community to be part of and this way evcia999 et al can make discerned choices.

Initially I used tripadvisor only to "take" information and now I feel that it makes it more worthwhile when i "give" by sharing my own experiences.

Thank you for your links and here is one for buses

http://www.nca.co.th (the translate button on google may be needed)

Have a good weekend

Giorgio Federico

UK
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8. Re: First time In Thailand

Once again, thank you very much to All of you. Your comments are definitely very helpful. Thank you for your time ;)

Rgds

9. Re: First time In Thailand

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